Trustee

Spring 2014

The Trustee communicates issues affecting libraries and library services. Once a library and systems join LTA, all their trustees automatically receive this quarterly publication published by LTA. To learn more about membership in LTA, Click Here.

President's Memo

Spring 2014 issue of Trustee

These are serious times and serious informed decisions need to be made for the future of libraries. Library trustees have many responsibilities when they serve on either their local library or system board. Their responsibilities include library budget amount, initiating policies that govern and protect their library and its patrons, hiring and evaluating the performance of their library director among others.

 

Trustees are not professional librarians who have been educated in the science of libraries; rather they bring a variety of other types of professional knowledge and skills to a board. In order for the institution of the library to become whole in its mission, trustees must be educated in what to do and how to do it effectively and legally. In New York State there are 7,000 trustees who are responsible for governing all of the local and public libraries and the 23 library systems. Trustees are directly responsible for the fiscal oversight and stewardship of $1 billion each year in local, state and federal public funding and $ 1.3 billion in public and private funding. Trustees have oversight of $3.3 billion in library collections and equipment. The potential liability for public and association library trustees is remarkable. Most library board members are unaware of the scope of their exposure.

 

The implications are staggering. Trustees need training. The education of trustees cannot be overemphasized or dismissed out of hand. LTA is chartered by the state to represent library trustees and has as one of its tenets the education of library trustees in the performance of their responsibilities. LTA is currently working with other state library groups to put forth a mandatory legislative program requiring library trustee training as a requirement of their continuing local service. LTA offers a certified trustee education program and offers a yearly Trustee Institute specifically geared to trustee training.

 

LTA is your representative; it is to your advantage to utilize its services.


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